Monday, April 18, 2011

Shake, Rattle and Roll

105 years ago today, a great earthquake struck San Francisco and northern California. I wasn't going to mention it, but a couple of related items have come across my screen that have motivated me. First, the above photo from OregonLive shows a rather amusing situation as an auditorium full of civil engineers at an earthquake conference are shaken by, yup, you guessed it.
Steven Kramer, a University of Washington earthquake expert, wasn’t sure what was happening Monday in Tokyo when an alarm interrupted a lengthy briefing by the Japan Society of Civil Engineers. An announcement came on in Japanese, a language he doesn’t know. The large auditorium fell silent.

Harry Yeh, an Oregon State University tsunami expert who speaks Japanese, leaned over from the seat next to Kramer. "There’s been an earthquake," Yeh said, "and it will arrive here in eight seconds."
I find it very cool that the technology exists to warn that seismic waves are on their way and will arrive in eight seconds. Seven. Six...

The second item was that the geotwittersphere was in turmoil a couple of hours ago as a 3.8 (revised) 3.4 "commemorative" quake occurred on the San Andreas Fault. Dave Schumaker just happened to take a photo at Lotta's Fountain a mere three minutes before the quake struck.

For more information on The Great San Francisco Earthquake, see Dave Bressan's post at History of Geology, and Austin Elliot at Trembling Earth has a very interesting chart of estimated shaking intensity during the quake, as well as an update to address today's tremor.

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